Paperworld cuts

All the office products news from the floor at office supplies trade show Paperworld.

Almost 50,000 visitors attended Paperworld 2012 in Frankfurt at the end of January. This number was slightly down on 2011 and exhibitor numbers also fell slightly to 1,800, which was probably to be expected given the current economic situation. One positive statistic was the number of orders placed at the show. In a poll conducted by Messe Frankfurt, exhibitors confirmed that the proportion of buyers placing orders had increased to 49% from 40% in 2011. Exhibitors also gave a visitor quality rating of 69% this year, compared with 61% a year ago.

It’s still disappointing not to see major office products brands such as 3M, ACCO, Esselte or Newell Rubbermaid exhibiting at Paperworld and let’s hope that Messe Frankfurt can find a way of persuading these companies to have some kind of presence in the future.

New Double A mill on track

Double A’s new paper mill is scheduled to begin production later this year. Speaking to OPI at Paperworld, the paper manufacturer’s Senior EVP Thirawit Leetavorn said the new 250,000 tonne-capacity Paper Mill Three located near Bangkok was due to be operational by the end of the third quarter.

As Double A ups its production capacity the company is looking to expand into more markets, including eastern Europe and Russia, said Leetavorn.

The company reported a successful Paperworld, with visitor numbers to its stand reaching 500, about 6% up on last year’s figure. Double A’s European Distributor of the Year award held during the show was won by French buying group SACFOM.

Fellowes brings online campaign to EU

Fellowes made a welcome return to Paperworld this year with an impressive two-floor stand. 

As part of its European brand awareness initiatives, the company has just launched a major new online marketing campaign for its shredders. A four-week campaign began in the UK and France in February, and will be rolled out in other selected markets during the course of the year. 

The initiative includes a pre-roll film on online news websites such as Sky News in the UK and Le Monde in France, and iPad app advertising with publications such as The Telegraph.

OGC trying new locations

Germany brand cooperation Office Gold Club (OGC) is visiting new markets this year as part of its annual roadshow. OGC Chairwoman Nicola Perl told OPI that it was important to attract new end-user customers to the initiative, which is now into its seventh year. 

New cities such as Nuremberg have been included in OGC’s 2012 roadshow which takes place this month. 

Perl added that OGC will be looking at developing different ways of interacting with its existing end-user base on a more regular basis throughout the year.

Novus & Dahle to merge

German brands Novus and Dahle are to merge into a single legal entity. The two sister companies are already part of the Erwin Müller group and will merge to form Novus-Dahle GmbH & Co KG in June. 

The companies have been running on a common IT platform since last year and have a single sales team. For customers, the merger will mean a single purchasing order and invoice and the same terms. New CEO Frank Indenkämpen told OPI that the full benefits of the merger would be seen when a new central distribution centre becomes operational
in 2014.

Revenu sees stable year

Yves Revenu, CEO of European vendor group T3L, said that 2011 was a stable year across all markets and categories. This was despite hopes at the start of the year that 2011 would be another year of growth following a strong 2010.

2011 marked the integration of Danish manufacturer Probeco into the T3L group, along with the Tarifold and 3L brands. With 3L also based in Denmark, Probeco and 3L now have a single leadership team, although their brand identities and physical locations remain separate. Probeco founder Kim Berg has become a shareholder in T3L. 

HSM reports positive year

HSM has said that its sales topped the €100 million ($130 million) mark in 2011. At a press conference in Frankfurt, the Germany-based manufacturer said that its double-digit growth came as it made gains in the shredder category.

HSM does not break out its figures between its Office Technology and Environmental Technology divisions, but the 100% sales increase in the US last year was almost entirely
due to its shredding business as rival Fellowes experienced supply issues.

In other markets, HSM reported overall top-line growth of 10% in the UK, 15% in France and 50% in Poland. However, the company was cautious in its 2012 outlook, saying that it expected sales to be flat this year.

Pelikan Hardcopy clarifies supplies strategy

Pelikan Hardcopy told OPI that it is committed to both its branded products and private label businesses.

Pelikan Hardcopy EVP Thorsten Lifka said that press reports from Germany in January had given a misleading picture of developments at the company.

Lifka admitted that there had been a rationalisation of production facilities in Switzerland, but that this was basically the finalisation of a delocalisation strategy for inkjet products which had begun in 2007. R&D operations and toner production remain in Switzerland, he stated, although inkjet production has now moved to Malaysia.

Lifka confirmed that Pelikan Hardcopy was still responsible for the production of both Pelikan branded and private label inkjet and toner supplies.

The main change, he explained, has been the creation of distinct sales teams and supply chain services for the branded and private label categories.

Sales of Pelikan’s branded supplies will continue to be run out of the German headquarters in Hannover, while the sales operation of the private label and tender business is handled by a Hardcopy team based in the Netherlands under the management of Berrie Matse.

Counterfeit seizures down

The number of suspected counterfeit products seized at the 2012 Paperworld show fell by around 40% year on year.

German customs officials (known locally as Zoll) traditionally inspect the exhibition halls on the opening day of the show accompanied by representatives of various brand owners, notably in the writing instruments category.

The decline in the number of seizures continues the trend seen over the last few years.

Zoll representatives told OPI that heavy fines imposed on some Asian exhibitors last year may have acted as a deterrent this year, although some companies still infringe year after year.

One major OP brand that was affected this year was Fellowes, no stranger to patent and copyright infringement cases.

Customs officials removed two shredder models from the stand of Chinese supplier New United which allegedly infringed on Fellowes’ design patents.